12 March 2003
In November 2002, ART consulted all concerned players-in particular operators, industry and users-on all aspects related to the use and allocation of available frequencies in the 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz bands.
The aim of the consultation was to evaluate player demand for use of these bands, to devise a technical organisation which takes into consideration available resources and player needs, and to prepare the means of allocating these frequencies.
ART received 23 replies to the consultation and is making public its summary today.
With the completion of this consultation, a number of conclusions could be drawn which make it possible to plan action.
First, the degree of rarity in the 3.5 GHz band, as evaluated by the consultation, does not justify a re-allocation of available frequencies via an application procedure. As a result, ART is now able to meet demand for frequencies in this band, as it arises. It invites interested parties to make their needs known.
In coming weeks, it will allocate frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band in three regions-Haute Normandie, Basse Normandie and Ile-de-France-to Altitude Télécom, which already holds a wireless local loop (WLL) regional licence in the 26 GHz band. At that time, it will request that the Minister of Telecommunications modify the operator's licence in order to include the rights and responsibilities specific to this band.
As for the other bands discussed, given the results of the consultation, ART is preparing to initiate discussions with mobile operators in order to best meet their frequency needs in building their UMTS networks, in particular for their backhauling services (traffic concentration).
At the same time, for each of the two WLL operators in metropolitan France-9 Télécom Entreprise (formerly Firstmark Communications France) and Altitude Télécom-ART is preparing to verify the respect of the deployment commitments taken by the operators, a process which should be completed in summer 2003.
These two operations, based on discussions with these operators, will allow ART to determine the best use of the frequencies currently available in the 26 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz bands.